Many government organizations and agency departments plan and promote special events or seasonal occasions that relate to the constituency they serve and support. Highlighting these events through communications and digital content provides a fun and timely way to interact with the public, and can even serve as a platform for gaining subscribers and engaging citizens long-term.
The Environmental Protection Agency replaced its normal home page with specially designed interactive presentations to commemorate Earth Day. The overlay, which included a stunning photo of Earth from space, was a visually pleasing way to inform the public about Earth Day and related events the EPA was sponsoring. The special home page provided slide shows, links to events for volunteers, and an invitation to send in photos from home.
While the EPA’s Earth Day home page is a great example of tailoring digital content to inform and educate stakeholders on issues that impact an organization’s mission, the organization missed a prime opportunity to offer an easy opt-in for email alerts. An out-of-the-ordinary web element like a special home page or highlighted overlay is one of the best ways government communicators can spark interest from a visitor and subsequently call attention to the proactive digital communications offered by the organization. Techniques such as these can even double or triple sign-ups to subscriber lists.
A sign-up form or link is easy to add on to a specially designed event home page and offers a convenient call-to-action for visitors attracted by special event information. This approach leverages the additional traffic that might result from a special event and also maximizes the long-term impact of the short-term custom content by offering ongoing email updates to visitors with specific interests.
On special days or events such as Earth Day, agencies like the EPA can turn new visitors looking for event-specific information into stakeholders by asking them to subscribe. Be sure to offer updates on a variety of topics, and consider a category of updates for subscribers interested in special events or holiday-related information in particular. Taking advantage of times of peak interest in your department or agency’s website can result in big wins in subscriber numbers and stakeholder engagement.
Has your department tied subscription sign-up opportunities into promotions for special events going on in the community? Share your tips on turning one-time special event visitors into lifetime stakeholders in the comments.